Study Art

University College Isle of Man (UCM) has launched two new art degrees which have been validated by the University of Chester. The two degree courses are BA (Hons) Creative Practice Fine Art, which lead to art careers such as art director, community arts worker, freelance artist and exhibition designer, and BA (Hons) Creative Practice Visual Communication, which lead to areas such as marketing,  branding, graphic design, illustration, photography and animation.

Gail Corrin, UCM’s Higher Education Manager, said: ‘We’re really excited to be launching two new degrees for students who want to join the creative industry sector and the many associated creativity based careers. We’ve designed the course, which is validated by our partner, the University of Chester to enable students, from the outset, to establish connections with potential employers, creative professionals and associates, to make themselves aware of all the opportunities for graduates in Creative Practices and so facilitate the building of their professional reputation.

‘Studying a specialist degree through this approach will greatly enhance students’ employability and readiness to enter the workplace. This is ideal for students who have completed their A levels and who want a degree but don’t want to leave the Island, and also for mature students who want to move into this exciting industry.’

Students can apply online at now. Anyone looking for financial support with their qualification can apply for a Student Award grant at by July 31.

May Day

Manx National Heritage invite you to celebrate Manx May Day (Laa Boaldyn) at Cregneash on Monday, 2 May. Throughout the day visitors will be able to experience the folklore and traditions of the Manx May Day through music, dance and storytelling.

Vicky Dale, Site Supervisor for Cregneash said: ‘Manx May Day celebrations mark the passing of winter and the rebirth of summer, which was thought to be a particularly perilous time in Manx folklore. Witches and fairies were considered to be at their most mischievous around midnight on May Day Eve and a series of traditions arose to allay fears and protect the Manx people and their livestock from potential dangers.

‘The principal form of protection against mischievous fairies was the crosh cuirn, made from a rowan or mountain ash and placed above the door of the house or the cow shed and even tied to the cows’ tails.’

Visitors will be able to make crosh cuirns to protect themselves as they hear about Manx rural traditions.  For many practical reasons life was simply more challenging at this time of year when the salt fish from the winter was running out and crops were not yet ready to harvest. The beliefs and practises around Laa Boaldyn went some way to alleviate fears.

The event takes place from 11am to 3pm. The Village Tearooms will be offering traditional Manx fare including freshly-made bonnag. Manx Dance group Perree Bane will be performing in the village at 12pm and 2pm. 

Go West

Beach cleaning goes west this weekend with a volunteer session in Peel ahead of the brilliant Oie Voaldyn Fire Festival on Sunday May 1. The meeting point is at the harbour swingbridge at 10.30am. Later in the day Beach Buddies is also involved in the Fire Festival itself. 

Buddies founder Bill Dale said: ‘Once again we had new volunteers taking part again last weekend when we tackled the beaches in the area of Brewery Bay, Port St Mary. Six new faces were spotted in a turnout of 47 volunteers who all did a great job in clearing the Brewery Bay coastline of rubbish.

‘On Sunday we aim to remove all rubbish from Peel beach, Fenella Beach, Peel Castle and the promenade, so that Peel looks immaculate for Oie Voaldyn and the thousands of people expected to visit the town on the day. There is entertainment from 2pm onwards with the spectacular Fire Festival parade in the evening, which is not to be missed.’